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Scotttyd
09-08-2008, 20:00
just dove in my new pinnacle evo 2 for the first time. One dive in 25 feet at the quarry and one dive in the local pool. I usually dive with 0 lbs with my HP130, I put 6 on at the quarry, (t-shirt and shorts), the squeeze was horrendous down below. At the pool I put on a pair of sweat pants and long t-shirt, 14 lbs, the squeeze not as bad, but still far from comfortable. I am hitting the quarry for round two this week. I am going to wear my undergarment, more weight, and hopefully things will be more comfortable.

One question I have is if I put more weight on, therefore I can add more air to the suit to reduce the squeeze, will I not then just vent more air out of the valve and sink instead of eliminating the squeeze? Do I need to close the valve slightly, or will the air not vent from the valve unless I raise my arm?

I have much reduced mobility in my legs. I really could not frog kicks efficiently. The suit was just to tight in my legs. was this due to 1. same issue as above, will be fixed by putting more air in the suit? 2. Not pulling up the crotch and getting the "baggy jeans" fit.

mm2002
09-08-2008, 21:24
I'm a new drysuit diver too, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. What you're experiencing sounds to me like a textbook example of being under-weighted for a drysuit.

Webfeet
09-08-2008, 21:24
a shot of air into your suit should eliminate the squeeze. It does for me. You are right in thinking that wearing your polypro and/or quilteds will dimimish the feeling - more air trapped. I rarely turn my valve. I will tap it to release some air manually or 'body roll; to move the air to my left shoulder to allow escape. If you havn't done so already I would suggest ankle weights and a double buckle on your weight belt.

Congrats on the move! It will take a few dives to gain fluency. One thing you will find strange is diving dry and then jumping in and going swimming topside when the temps allow.

You might have to change your sig to 'the smell of triple laminated, 1000 denier, butyl, blah blah blah ..... - I guess its not the same.

cummings66
09-09-2008, 06:51
The amount of squeeze you feel varies according to the undergarment. Incidentally, you really should not use cotton so make sure the sweatpants combo is fleece. That's in case you have a leak and get wet. The thicker the under garment is the less you feel the squeeze and in the case of what you did I'd say you were lucky you didn't get hickies.

At any rate, the bulkier the undergarment the more weight you need to carry to offset it. Check your buoyancy out with just the drysuit and undergarments. Figure out how much lead you need to get neutral like that and then you know exactly how much you need with the steel cylinder.

Example, if you need 14 lbs to be neutral in the drysuit with the chosen under garments, and the cylinder specs say -2 lbs empty then you need to carry 12 lbs of lead. That's the best guess method.

To test it with a full cylinder, use the specs for the one you own, for example the Worthington X8-130 is -11.7 lbs full. If you get neutral with it full then you know that it is -2 lbs empty so the air swing is 11.7-2 or -9.7 lbs. Add 10 lbs to your neutral weight and you're properly weighted. Now you can add another couple lbs to let you add more air to the drysuit as well.

In a drysuit when I test for neutral I hold a FULL breath, the reason why is that it allows me to carry enough extra lead that I can put air in the drysuit at the stop and be comfortable.

PS, purge the drysuit of all the air you can for the test.

MSilvia
09-09-2008, 10:38
I don't see why the squeeze has anything at all to do with the undergarment. I dive my drysuit with a Weezle Extreme, and I dive it in a long sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants. No squeeze either way unless I fail to maintain a constant volume of gas in the suit. Squeeze comes from letting air space compression get ahead of you, not from wearing a light undergarment.

What does vary with the undergarment is the volume of gas you should maintain, as well as the amount of weight you'll need to offset the buoyancy of that gas.

I generally dive with my valve fully open. It doesn't cause any significant problems.

DivingCRNA
09-09-2008, 11:39
I don't see why the squeeze has anything at all to do with the undergarment. I dive my drysuit with a Weezle Extreme, and I dive it in a long sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants. No squeeze either way unless I fail to maintain a constant volume of gas in the suit. Squeeze comes from letting air space compression get ahead of you, not from wearing a light undergarment.

What does vary with the undergarment is the volume of gas you should maintain, as well as the amount of weight you'll need to offset the buoyancy of that gas.

I generally dive with my valve fully open. It doesn't cause any significant problems.

+1

cummings66
09-09-2008, 12:22
Squeeze does have an effect with the undergarment, here's how. Say you've got shorts on a T shirt and let the suit shrink wrap you. You will feel the squeeze very intensely, perhaps even get hickies. Now put on an undergarment and keep the same squeeze and you won't get hickies and although you can feel it it doesn't hurt the skin.

In a practical sense it has little to do with stuff other than you have material padding. This only applies to a membrane suit though as they're the ones that can get vicious and bite you and leave the marks.

That's the only effect the undergarment has, it reduces the physical damage to your body. Well, it can mean you need more or less lead.

Squeeze is squeeze no matter what you wear, how you feel it varies per the garment is what I mean. When he said it was horrendous I think he meant that the squeeze hurt him physically which it would with what he wore. An under garment would have prevented that feeling.

CompuDude
09-09-2008, 12:28
I don't see why the squeeze has anything at all to do with the undergarment. I dive my drysuit with a Weezle Extreme, and I dive it in a long sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants. No squeeze either way unless I fail to maintain a constant volume of gas in the suit. Squeeze comes from letting air space compression get ahead of you, not from wearing a light undergarment.

What does vary with the undergarment is the volume of gas you should maintain, as well as the amount of weight you'll need to offset the buoyancy of that gas.

I generally dive with my valve fully open. It doesn't cause any significant problems.

I'm going to have to disagree with you re squeeze. I've had some pretty nasty squeeze on the ol' family jewels once or twice while wearing very light undergarments (read: long johns or even just boxer briefs) in the pool. Putting on an extra layer (actual DS undergarment, albeit a thin one) helped considerably. Wearing my usual DUI PowerStretch 300 fleece, and there's no longer a problem. Adding a little air to the suit can help, but only so much. There's always going to be some inherent squeeze with a drysuit, unless you're blown up like the Michelin man (and carrying an extra 20 lbs to sink all that air!). Work your underlayers to get to where it's not actually uncomfortable... once you do, you'll start getting comfortable and you won't really notice normal squeeze anymore.

You don't ever want to dive in a drysuit without long sleeves and long pants, though... bare skin and drysuit is a really bad combination. I've seen some really severe "suit hickies" where the squeeze that shrinkwrapped the suit actually left marks that took quite a while to heal. Hairy legs can be pulled in pretty painful ways, as well. So always wear some sort of undergarment.

I used to dive with my valve fully open at all times. They don't vent unless you left your arm or otherwise roll your body to raise that part of the suit. Since I've had some mild leakage issues, once I've descended I generally close mine down until the ascent.

Back to undergarments again, be sure whatever you wear is a wicking material, or at a minimum, some sort of fleece. Cummings66 pointed out this is due to leaks, but it's also due to normal condensation. Your body gives off moisture naturally throughout the day, and a lot moreso with any form of exertion. In a drysuit, this has nowhere to go and ends up condensing into "dew" on the inside of the suit material, where it hits the colder exterior water temps. With thinner (and especially cotton) undergarments, you'll end up damp, and even in relatively warm water (other than a really warm heated pool, in which case you'll be warm... and sweating buckets) you can get chilled quite easily without a proper wicking layer to keep your skin as dry as possible: moisture on the outside of the materaial, dry and warm on the inside.

Edit: HA! Cummings managed to post first, by being less loquacious. LOL

bubbletrubble
09-09-2008, 13:02
@Scotttyd: As you're finding out, it's very important to be properly weighted in a drysuit and to wear the proper undergarments that will keep you warm (wet or dry) and prevent drysuit hickeys. Something that I think is worth mentioning is management of the air bubble. In fact, this may be contributing to the dreaded crotch/lower extremity squeeze. Since you're new to drysuit diving, I know that you're very conscious of keeping your exhaust valve at the highest point on your body. For this reason, you may not be quite as horizontal as you would like. With the frog kick, if your knees are below the plane of your body, that area of the suit will get the squeeze and restrict movement. I would do two things to prevent the lower extremity squeeze: (1) wear a properly fitting undergarment (not too tight) which covers arms/legs full-length and (2) get horizontal. Don't be afraid to play around with adjusting the auto-vent feature of your exhaust valve. It should just take a slight right shoulder dip to vent some air from your left shoulder exhaust valve. Good luck with the drysuit learning curve. I think you'll be surprised how quickly things will become more "natural." My dive buddies and I dive dry so often here in San Diego that, on the rare occasion when we dive wet, I laugh when, upon descent, we keep reaching for the non-existent drysuit inflator button. :-)

MSilvia
09-09-2008, 13:09
Say you've got shorts on a T shirt and let the suit shrink wrap you.
I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think you should be letting the suit shrink wrap you in the first place. If you're getting hickies, you simply aren't keeping enough gas in the suit. I'm not aware of any good reason the volume of gas in your suit should be less at depth than it is when you're at the surface.

I'll grant that some undies protect against excessive squeeze better than others, but my point is that any squeeze that restricts your movement or causes discomfort is excessive, and something you should prevent rather than plan on.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-09-2008, 13:57
I was there for these dives. I don't think the intent was to dive in shorts and t-shirt. Scott got into the suit to check the neck seals and we started talking and I forgot that he wasn't wearing undergarments when we walked down to the water. Afterwards, I remember saying "Man, you're lucky you didn't get hickies!"

It was that kind of day. I *forgot* to bring my drysuit. I ended up diving in a hood, gloves, and jammers. No cameras, thankfully. Since my SPG was in my drysuit bag I had to dive without knowing my pressure. I'm glad I know my consumption rate- Knowing that, let me do the dive with a little more confidence.

My diagnosis: Scott needs more air in the suit. Closing the valve some will help with that. I never have that problem (my valve is completely open) but I'm diving the TLS350 and the Evo 2 is a much stiffer fabric and has a different valve. Of course with more air he'll need more weight. We're going back to the quarry on Thursday to try it again and I promise not to forget my drusyuit this time.

Scotttyd
09-09-2008, 14:14
Joe, I am regretting not bringing my camera, I think your new avatar should have been the look you were rocking at the quarry!

I did not get the drysuit hickies, I was just rather uncomfortable. I have two months of quarry practice before I hit the ocean with the drysuit, I think I will get it, but their is definately a learning curve.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-09-2008, 14:25
Oh yeah, you'll get it by then. Took me 10 dives to get my air consumption rate back down to normal, and about 20 dives to really feel comfortable that I knew what I was doing.

Speaking of your first ocean drysuit dive... I hope the sharks are still there in November. I know they're not around in late winter or early spring.

Scotttyd
09-09-2008, 17:57
yea, that would kinda piss me off, I have three trips planned to the Markam and Hyde, two cancelled, and one the with 5 ft viz, then when I get to go, the sharks are gone. Especially ironic that this is the site you go to when the weather is too bad for the offshore trips. Maybe I should book the rosin wreck with you, then that might guarantee an inshore trip?

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-09-2008, 18:34
yea, that would kinda piss me off, I have three trips planned to the Markam and Hyde, two cancelled, and one the with 5 ft viz, then when I get to go, the sharks are gone. Especially ironic that this is the site you go to when the weather is too bad for the offshore trips. Maybe I should book the rosin wreck with you, then that might guarantee an inshore trip?

Basis the last 5 attempts signing up with me for the Rosin Wreck would guarantee not making it out of the inlet. That wreck is cursed, I tell ya!

Anyway, on the off chance it goes, 120' depth and possible strong current (near the shoals) it's not a good first dive for your drysuit.

Scotttyd
09-09-2008, 20:53
yea, that would kinda piss me off, I have three trips planned to the Markam and Hyde, two cancelled, and one the with 5 ft viz, then when I get to go, the sharks are gone. Especially ironic that this is the site you go to when the weather is too bad for the offshore trips. Maybe I should book the rosin wreck with you, then that might guarantee an inshore trip?

Basis the last 5 attempts signing up with me for the Rosin Wreck would guarantee not making it out of the inlet. That wreck is cursed, I tell ya!

Anyway, on the off chance it goes, 120' depth and possible strong current (near the shoals) it's not a good first dive for your drysuit.
I know, just making a smart ass comment, I plan on TRYING to dive that wet summer

Warren
09-09-2008, 21:44
I did two dives in a drysuit and had the same problems with the balancing act...

Got some major aqueeze on dive one, then added another 8 pounds as I recall on dive two and it was much better.

Stick to it and you'll get it right!

BoomerNJ
09-10-2008, 06:44
I am approaching my 20th dive in a drysuit & am just starting to become comfortable & confident in my ability to control the bubble & the squeeze without looking like a doof... You'll get it, it just has a little bit of a learning curve...

cummings66
09-10-2008, 07:36
I would highly suggest before going deep in a drysuit that you have lots of dives on it. The air bubble management is something you can screwup with on the surface, but if you're doing a 120 foot dive you don't want to screw up there or on the way back up which is likely given the longer ascent times you will experience.

The way I'd do it is several shallow 30 foot dives until it's second nature, then go to 60 feet and do several more with ascents until you've got that nailed down solid, then go to 100 feet. Once you can do that you're good for almost any depth you want. I have seen more than my fair share of new drysuit divers lose control of the drysuit on deep dives as they ascend because they misjudge the air bubble in it and get too buoyant.

cummings66
09-10-2008, 07:38
Speaking of condensation in the drysuit, that's normal and happens all the time, more so in the Summer months. I've had my undergarments so damp you'd think I had a leak in there. Take a day with 95 degree temps and 40 degree bottom temps and that means a slightly heavier under garment. By the time you get to the water sweat is rolling off your body, especially if you hydrate yourself correctly. It's shear misery on the surface but very nice at 40 degrees.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
09-10-2008, 08:26
I would highly suggest before going deep in a drysuit that you have lots of dives on it. The air bubble management is something you can screwup with on the surface, but if you're doing a 120 foot dive you don't want to screw up there or on the way back up which is likely given the longer ascent times you will experience.

The way I'd do it is several shallow 30 foot dives until it's second nature, then go to 60 feet and do several more with ascents until you've got that nailed down solid, then go to 100 feet. Once you can do that you're good for almost any depth you want. I have seen more than my fair share of new drysuit divers lose control of the drysuit on deep dives as they ascend because they misjudge the air bubble in it and get too buoyant.

Good advice.

I'm sort of Scottyd's mentor in this. The unofficial plan is the one that I followed myself, which is to dive the local quarry for a couple of months (depths 30-60 practical, 80ft possible with a long swim) and then go out to the inshore wrecks (50-90 ft) before proceeding to the offshore wrecks (100-130).

It helps a lot that we ascend and descend on a line, but then my only free ascent happened when I was dry. I had broken my reel 2 days before the dive, low viz, crew tied in to debris off the wreck (argh!) , and I couldn't find the anchor or make my own ascent line. I'm damn glad I knew how to dive my drysuit by then.